So - let's see if I remember how to do these things...it's...well, it's been awhile...
So - last December, I decided to push myself and sign up for the 10k at Air Force. I'd never done a 10k at that point, and REALLY wanted to get that instant PR. I had been doing a LOT of 5ks (slowly) with a couple of friends of mine, and wanted to start making myself get serious about it again. So, training was...well...sporadic...but...adequate...I guess? Kinda? Well, I knew it wouldn't be great, I knew there would be walk breaks (especially with all the stinkin' hills in the first half of it), and pain, but it wouldn't be a total slog either, so I was actually excited at the starting line. Haven't felt that in quite some time!
The national anthem is performed, I witness the fact that a P51 Mustang and an F22 Raptor can actually perform a fly-over in formation at exactly the same speed (I was seriously impressed by this), and then a cannon goes off to signal the start. Well, I ASSUMED that anyway, since I couldn't think of any other reason a cannon would be fired at 7:30 on a Sunday morning on an Air Force base. So, we started the "starting line shuffle", and were eventually off.
The first mile actually went REALLY well, and I got there much sooner than I had expected to, so I had a pretty good idea that my goal of finishing in under 90:00 might be possible (I know, I know...slow...yes, I am slow). The only bad part of the mile 1 marker in this race is the hill that comes with it. It's...long. And...steep. Well, kinda long and steep. Not like Flying Pig long and steep, but it's not exactly nothing, either.
There were a few walk breaks on the longer/steeper sections of the uphills over the first three miles, but I noticed that my running segments were faster than I had anticipated, so I was still on track for my goal. At the mile 4 marker, I knew the hills were done, and we heard the start of the half, and saw the mass of humanity pass by on the other side of the road, which was kinda cool. Not going to lie - I was really wishing I was one of them...wanting to be back in that shape. But, I'll be there again soon enough.
Around 4.5 miles in, a friend of mine passed me and said hi, and that was a big help. I was starting to flag out a bit, thinking too much and not just going. Mind all over the place, but mostly on one thing...sausage McMuffin with egg. Yeah. No clue. But there it was. And I was obsessed. I NEEDED a breakfast extra value meal number 2 with a large coffee. I would not be happy until I had it. And that meant I had to hit my goal time so I could make it to McDonalds before breakfast ended.
Strangest motivation I've ever experienced, but hey - it got me past marker 5, and at that point I knew that barring anything seriously bad happening in the next 1.2 miles, I'd make my goal. And the sausage mcMuffin with egg was that much closer. And calling my name. Louder and louder...
I made the turn towards the museum, which was a bad spot for me when I did the half there...total Poltergeist moment where it seemed like every step I took toward the building made it get farther and farther away...especially since the finish line was directly to my left across a grassy area...well, no Poltergeist moment this time, and I could see the last miler markers (26/6, 13) up ahead around the next turn, so I picked my head up and made it a point to actually enjoy this section of the course this time. After all - it's pretty cool running under the noses of big Air Force planes, right? Right! I heard my wife screaming for me (in a good way...not the way I normally hear at home) (just kidding...I think), and was able to push a bit to the finish line with an official finish time of 1:28:17. Woo hoo! Beat my goal by almost two minutes! Instant PR, and hopefully one that will be easy to improve upon when I do my next one.
So - Next stop, Flying Pig half. Who's with me?
Link to my photos...and yeah - I know...pick my head up...I'm working on it...lol
So...it's me...and yes, I'm still alive (ob-viously... -Snape). So - I was talking to my brother a couple of weeks ago, and both of us are restarting things in a more serious manner. So, he has told me that my Christmas gift this year from him is an entry to the Flying Pig half...Yay! I can't wait...it was my first ever half back in 2009, and I'm so excited to be going back there for the 20th anniversary race! Woo hoo!! So - I'll be posting my training and stuff in here, and I'll be starting soon as I'm basically completely rebuilding. So, looking forward to the support I know and love from this group and that has guided me through my previous big races.
I've decided to make it doubly confusing by 1) posting here for the first time in a while and 2) by changing my username. Oops. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I made christine.eliz way back when I was super new to running and didn't feel like having a weirdo handle as I dipped my toes into this community. Now that I know how strange you all are I have no problem with it! It might help that @tinkbot is also my Instagram handle so feel free to follow me if you want periodic reminders of who I am.
So what's been going on? I know I posted in Loopville that DH and I are expecting our first child - a girl! - in January but I don't think I officially blooped about it. I'm almost 25 weeks (~5.5months) pregnant and entering the phase of discovering that the shorts that fit last week aren't quite swinging it today. I'm feeling really good though and partially attribute that to my OB being really supportive of exercise throughout pregnancy. At our first meeting I told her I "used" to run - meaning that I had been struggling with anterior tibialis tendonitis and then PF for a while, not necessarily because of the pregnancy, which is what she thought I meant - and she made a face and said, "Why'd you stop?" I like you!
The first trimester wasn't horrible but I did have periodic bouts of morning sickness and didn't want to deal with the suddenly hot and humid summer weather. My outdoor exercise waned. I still had to walk the pup but he didn't like the heat either so we definitely enabled each other to be more lazy than we should have been. We would probably walk about 3-6 miles a week.
About three weeks ago I started getting ominous email updates from my baby app about preparing for labor. Commence exercise!!
The "runs" are really run/walks with varying average paces from ~15min/mile down to around 12:30min/mile depending on how I was feeling. My breathing was decent and I felt like my stamina was better than I was expecting; the things that were getting me were my poor feet and ankles were just like WHAT IS HAPPENING NO and going numb or seizing up. That'll happen when you add an extra 10-15lbs. I was getting some unpleasant side stitches too which is nothing new but I couldn't exactly stumble down the street holding the side of my obviously pregnant belly without feeling like I would get an ambulance called on me. Grin and bear it! Good to practice that, too... ugh.
I also added in some light free weight arm exercises and core stuff. (No abdominals, but I can do obliques and those other supportive core muscles.) I've seen multiple recommendations of planks since they really help with core strength and also train your mind to endure 30sec-1min bouts of severe unpleasantness. I just can't escape you, planks, can I? *shakes fist*
The weather has finally cooled down to true autumn temps so the plan is to do a nice hike with DH this afternoon. I'll be tracking it and adding it to my miles!
Hope to see posts from people here. Happy running!
Let's give the new Loop a go, shall we?
Dear fellow Loopsters - at least those of you who know or remember me.
You may have noticed from my Facebook feed that last week I was in NYC with my wife, Countess FiFi the Fearless. Well, that only lasted five days. Not even the time to recover from the timezone-induced discombobulation and I already had to fly back to old Italia and get an even worse jet lag.
What to do in notoriously extremely boring NYC? Watch the bagels rise? Or concrete dry? What kind of (safe but exciting) activities can a hapless tourist from Europe hope to be part of?
Lucky me, I have an agent or two in New York City. My good friend and Manhattan resident MsRitz suggested I sign up for a 10-mile race in the Bronx, unexpectedly called Bronx 10 mile (they must have really thought this through). A hush-hush, low-key, 15,000 runners affair in the worst-mouthed Big Apple borough.
Those of you who know me will already know that I tend to avoid road races like I avoid the Ebola virus. However, I am not the person to say no to a good friend; plus, I don't always get to run races in new places. So I decided to cough up the race fee and signed up, knowing I wouldn't regret it.
So all I had to do, last Sunday, was to take the D train to the 161st St. stop (or was it the 4 train?). Now you must know that when I was little, the only information I had about the NYC metro system was from movies such as 1979's "The Warriors" (hopefully you'll know what I'm talking about), in which the metro trains were the favorite means of transportation for the city's riffraff and the preferred setting for stabbings, gang fights and all sorts of seedy and dodgy dealings. But I digress; today's NYC metro system is a model of efficiency and safety: the wagons even have beautiful poems framed inside, for the spiritual elevation of the few passengers that are not engrossed in their social media feeds on their phones.
I actually managed to meet MsRitz on the train itself, and we made our way to the finish area for me to drop my change bag. And then...
MsRitz surprised me by letting me meet another great Loop friend of mine: the one and only Cheeky Ninja Runner, whom I'd had the privilege to be a tour guide of in Milan, a couple of years ago.
And I have proof of this meetup!
A European Loopster visit will always make the local news. Moreover, I instantly become a chick magnet. Please note: this picture was taken BEFORE the race. It was soooo hot that I sweated half of my body weight during the race; you can only imagine that I smelled like a donkey afterwards. My chick magnetism vanished.
I'm still a barely presentable human in this pic.
Anyways: we made our way to the start corral - MsRitz even used her superpowers to sneak me in the "B" corral, in the midst of runners much fitter than I.
Of course there were the emotional moments before the start; a thought and a prayer for those involved in the hurricanes and those hit by the earthquake in Mexico. After the Star-Spangled Banner we were off!
I was actually wearing trail shoes for this race - I think I can be forgiven, I don't really do road running.
Man, I'd forgotten how HARD it is to run on pavement! The only half-decent picture I have from the race is this one:
"So, is this black surface called pavement then?"
To make a long story short and stop boring you guys off your skins, I started briskly; however, I soon bonked/flopped, so I decided to just shuffle my way to the end of the race. I won't bother telling you about my final time - nothing to be proud of anyway.
What I'm proud of, instead, is that through the now-defunct Loop I have been able to meet so many amazing people - it ain't all "weird internet people", you know. Thanks for enduring this excruciating read of a bloop and type ya soon.
Until next bloop,
I'm starting to think I should get the prize for the longest injury. Here's my timetable:
November 2015 - pikermi PR
January 2016 - hyper colleague insisted on helping me move stage equipment that he didn't know how to move (I was accustomed to moving it by myself and didn't need anyone being a "gentleman.") Result - sprained ankle.
March 2016 - Sprained ankle healed. Feral cat momma and kittens acquired and moved indoors, necessitating many trips up and down stairs. Ran a bit, but sinus infection prevented full return.
May 2016 - began running again in earnest, but very slowly and gradually.
June 2016 - peroneal tendons began popping painfully, the week before a long-planned anniversary hiking trip. Usual podiatrist not available, so cold-called and got an appointment with another. There may have been a reason this one had an opening. I was diagnosed (correctly) with peroneal subluxation. Prescribed "conservative treatment" (incorrectly.) That meant one month in a cast, one month of PT, and one more month of rest and prescription NSAID. The more medical journal articles I read, the more I saw the phrases "high failure rate" and "rarely successful" in relation to conservative treatment of peroneal subluxation. But I think insurance requires trying it before an MRI is allowed. I'd happily have paid for an MRI myself.
September 2016 - finally allowed to have MRI, which of course showed that I'd had a tear of a peroneal tendon all this time. Wasted summer.
October 13 2016 - surgery to repair tendon. Surgeon blithely said I'd be back to running in 6-8 weeks.
End of November 2016 - finally started PT - still on crutches. PT lasted till...
End of April 2017 - when my insurance benefit ran out. I could walk fine, and run a little. PTs had watched me run, analyzed my gait, and given me exercises to correct imbalances in my hips and strengthen my toes and the other ankle. Ankle still bigger than the other one, and stiff, but perfectly trustworthy. I was the owner of two pairs of custom orthotics.
May 2017 - began a return to running. Very slowly and gradually - starting with intervals of one minute running, one minute walking.
June 2017 - pulled out my Newtons and did an interval run. After about the 4th interval I realized my big toe was hurting. I thought it was just a fleeting pain, but it has hurt off and on ever since when weightbearing. Two of my podiatrists have moved away, and a third one is not in my current medical practice, so I need a new one. My primary physician knew of my problem, so I thought I could get a referral by phone, but no - I have to go for a referral to the walk-in (no pun intended) clinic - which has very limited hours, all of which are times I teach. I'm planning to cancel teaching next week to get there, and hopefully I won't have to wait a month for the appointment. I suspect sesamoiditis. My chiropractor suspects a bunion, my massage therapist turf toe. I wonder how fixable it will be since the main problem is that the ankle is still swollen and stiff.
Over the course of the last year and a half I've gained a good bit of weight. For months my husband was doing all the shopping, and while I was in the cast and also after the surgery friends brought high-calorie meals, plus there might have been some comfort eating, too. I can walk and do the elliptical - but not for very long. I do ride a stationary bike, but even that starts to bother me after half an hour. Swimming is not my choice of exercise because I don't like soaking my violin callouses. But I know the extra weight is not helping the injury.
I've tried not to post about this - really, it's no fun posting about non-running. I'd love to hear some happy stories about folks who have survived long injuries and returned successfully to running! I know it's going to be a long way back.
I'm sitting in my garage hoping someone will stop and buy the stuff I have in my driveway. It's one of those neighborhood wide garage sales or else we wouldn't have bothered.
It was supposed to start at 7am, but the creepers were out at 6:15. I was too, running my 3.1 mile loop while trying to stay in heart rate zone 3. I downloaded some workouts from Garmin Connect that are based on heart rate to see how that feels. Today was 45 minutes of hills in zone 3. The tough part of this is having to practically sprint downhill and almost walk uphill.
A Nintendo DS with a slightly scratched screen sold for $5. Nice Hispanic guy picked that up for a kid I'm sure. A grandfather was doing some Christmas gift shopping and bought the Rapunzel tower for $4.
Usually I only have to watch out for the paper delivery guy on my early morning runs, but the folks hoping to be the first at the sales were creeping around while I tried to obey my Garmin's 'be be be boo' ( HR too low) or 'be be be beep' (too high) warnings. I was careful because I knew the driver's eyes were looking at driveways and not for ninja runners.
A lady bought two lap trays for her first grade class. I feel bad taking even a quarter each from a school teacher. Two X-Box games went for one dollar each. We found those at a college dorm when helping my sister-in-law move out.
The zone 3 workout translated into a 7:30 pace for 6 miles. My run ended with an easy cool down mile. Then I started getting the stuff out to sell.
My wife says I sell things too cheaply. I feel like most garage sale shoppers are not rolling in the dough and are out for a bargain. I don't want to disappoint.